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Previews01 May 2024

WRE Bahamas 24 preview: global medallists in men's 4x400m rematch


The men's 4x400m at the World Championships in Oregon (© AFP / Getty Images)

The World Athletics Relays Bahamas 24 offers USA’s 4x400m men the chance to maintain an unbeaten run in Nassau, but there are a number of nations ready to challenge for top spot this weekend (4-5 May).

After the first three editions of the World Athletics Relays – all held in The Bahamas, with US men’s 4x400m teams winning at each – the 2019 title went to Trinidad and Tobago in Yokohama, before the Netherlands clinched the crown in Silesia in 2021, when USA did not field a team.

Since then, each of the three major outdoor global titles have been won by USA. But with so much at stake – including Olympic places for 14 teams – competition is set to be fierce.

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Entered for the US this time is Bryce Deadmon, who formed part of the Olympic gold medal-winning team in Tokyo and the quartet that claimed the world title in Oregon in 2022. Champion Allison ran the anchor leg in Oregon, while Christopher Bailey ran the heats in Budapest, where USA retained the world title, and brought the baton home to secure world indoor silver in Glasgow in March.

Gold in Glasgow was won by Belgium, anchored by Alexander Doom, who became the first man to win the 400m and 4x400m at the same World Indoor Championships. The team – which also featured Jonathan Sacoor, Dylan Borlee and Christian Iguacel – pipped USA by 0.06 to retain the title.

That quartet has been named for Nassau, on a squad that inevitably includes two other Borlee brothers, Jonathan and Kevin – the latter having joined Dylan on the 2019 and 2022 world bronze medal-winning teams. 

The Borlee brothers were also part of the squad – along with Doom and Sacoor – that finished fourth at the Tokyo Olympics behind USA, Netherlands and Botswana. Three members of that Dutch silver medal-winning team are named for Nassau: Terrence Agard, Ramsey Angela and Liemarvin Bonevacia. They also formed part of the team to claim world indoor bronze in Glasgow, while Angela and Bonevacia helped Netherlands to their World Relays win in 2021.

Trinidad and Tobago’s 2017 world 4x400m gold medallist Jereem Richards was on the victorious World Relays squad in 2019 along with Asa Guevara, and they team up again this weekend.

As well as Olympic bronze in Tokyo, Botswana – second at the World Relays in 2017 and third in 2021 – made the past two world finals, though the team was disqualified in Budapest. In the squad this time are world 100m and 200m medallist Letsile Tebogo, who ran a world 300m best of 30.69 in February and a 400m PB of 44.29 in March, and world 400m leader Bayapo Ndori, who clocked 44.10 last month.

Other recent major medallists Jamaica, France and Great Britain – who respectively claimed 2022 world silver, 2023 world silver and 2023 world bronze – will also want to make a statement as they seek to secure their Olympic spots. 

The Jamaican squad includes Rusheen McDonald, the 2013 world and 2016 Olympic relay silver medallist who helped his nation to finish fourth at last year’s World Championships. The French team, with a home Olympics in their sights, features three of the four world silver medallists. Two-time world 400m medallist Matthew Hudson-Smith is among those on the British squad.

Entered for the host nation in both the men’s and mixed 4x400m is Steven Gardiner, the Olympic and 2019 world 400m champion, and he’ll hope to help his team improve on their two runner-up finishes in this event on home soil in 2014 and 2015.

Zambia heads to Nassau as the fastest nation in the world so far this year, having clocked a national record of 2:59.12 to win at the All-African Games in Accra in March. Botswana was second and Nigeria third in Accra, and they could all clash again in Nassau.

Canada’s entry list includes world 800m champion Marco Arop and 19-year-old Christopher Morales Williams, who ran 44.49 for the fastest ever indoor 400m in Arkansas in February.

Also among those seeking Olympic qualification will be recent major finalists Japan, who finished second at the last World Relays, plus India, Italy and Poland.

Jess Whittington for World Athletics